en·​slave | \ in-ˈslāv How to pronounce enslave (audio) , en- \
enslaved; enslaving; enslaves

Definition of enslave

transitive verb

: to reduce to or as if to slavery : subjugate

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Other Words from enslave

enslavement \ in-​ˈslāv-​mənt How to pronounce enslave (audio) , en-​ \ noun
enslaver noun

Examples of enslave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Spanish and Portuguese, who built their empires on human trafficking, were among the earliest Europeans to enslave and baptize Africans. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, The New York Review of Books, "A Praise House of Many Mansions," 13 Apr. 2021 His poetry is like an archive of all that the world forgot, what might have been had humans resisted the desire to enslave and colonize one another. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Nathaniel Mackey’s Long Song," 5 Apr. 2021 Early in the pandemic, Araújo wrote on a personal blog that globalists were seeking to use the coronavirus as a means to subvert liberal democracy and market economics in order to install communism and enslave humans. Star Tribune, "Bolsonaro forced into Cabinet shuffle, changes top diplomat," 29 Mar. 2021 Before long, the Seder arrives at the ten plagues, which God used to punish Pharaoh for continuing to enslave the Israelites. Mark Gerson, WSJ, "Passover and the Power of Jewish Continuity," 20 Mar. 2021 The only thing saving Texians’ ability to enslave other humans was joining the United States. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "An Honest History of Texas Begins and Ends With White Supremacy," 12 Mar. 2021 That includes the Cherokee people, some of whom in the early 1800s had started to enslave African Americans. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "The Cherokee Nation acknowledges that descendants of people once enslaved by the tribe should also qualify as Cherokee," 25 Feb. 2021 But the Cotton Whigs fled to the Democrats, whose party echoed white Southerners’ belief that the right of self-government entitled them to enslave Black people. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "Flashback: A crisis of conscience over slavery gave birth to a formidable political force: The Republican Party," 26 Feb. 2021 And while few people today would pick IBM as the company most likely to enslave us, 2001's theme of betrayal by our own machines still resonates. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "The best A.I. movies and TV shows," 8 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enslave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of enslave

1628, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for enslave

Time Traveler

The first known use of enslave was in 1628

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Statistics for enslave

Last Updated

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enslave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enslave. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for enslave



English Language Learners Definition of enslave

: to make (someone) a slave


en·​slave | \ in-ˈslāv How to pronounce enslave (audio) \
enslaved; enslaving

Kids Definition of enslave

: to make a slave of

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